Tag Archives: mercy
Reason to SMILE #17: Forgiveness
My husband often kicks his feet during the night. It can be quite annoying. My husband isn’t bothered by it. He sleeps like a baby but many nights it keeps me wide awake.
You see, falling asleep at night does not come easy for me. There are times when I can’t turn off my thoughts and I lie awake going over everything that happened during the day, listing everything I need to do the next day, coming up with ideas for blog posts (haven’t been very successful with this one lately!) and praying. After what seems like an eternity, I’ll finally drift off to sleep. Then…
Whack! I get kicked by my husband.
Seriously! The other night, he actually kicked me! And every few minutes, he did it again. I tried to be understanding. I gently pushed his legs further away from me. It made no difference. The kicks kept coming. I asked him to turn over thinking he would kick the other direction but no-ooo! He began to kick backwards. Ultimately, I could take it no longer and when he kicked me again for the umpteenth time, I kicked him right back! But wouldn’t you know it. My husband wasn’t phased a bit. It sure made me feel better, though! 😉
Aren’t you glad God doesn’t react like I did?
No matter how many times we mess up or how often we return to the things we shouldn’t be doing, God never repays our sins with what is deserved. Instead, He is patient with us. He shows us love and mercy. He offers us grace. And when we’re ready to admit our wrongs and throw down our sins, He showers us with His forgiveness.
Let me tell you, folks. There’s nothing like the Joy that comes with God’s forgiveness!! If you haven’t experienced it, you really ought to give it a shot. 🙂
By the way, the day after I kicked my husband, I decided to fess up. I told him about his restless legs and my frustration over his incessant kicking. He apologized and asked if I had gone to sleep in the living room.
“Absolutely not!” I replied. “I just kicked you back!”
I’ve never heard my husband laugh so hard.
Well, at least he got a SMILE out of the whole ordeal. <SIGH>
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Psalm 103:10-13 He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND what I do.
The things I want to do, the things I know to do, I do not do them.
But WHAT I HATE, that is what I DO.
My heart is DECEITFUL and beyond all cure. My sins have SEPARATED me from God and have hidden his face from me.
You must grow weary of my trampling through your courts of grace with my vain requests for forgiveness.
Oh, God, can you still HEAR me?
Please speak to me.
I am undone.
In my darkness, I hear your voice,
And with its sound, I am once again reminded of your TENDER MERCIES.
You are COMPASSIONATE and GRACIOUS, Lord. You are SLOW TO ANGER and ABOUNDING IN LOVE.
You do not deal with me as my sins deserve nor do you repay me according to my offenses.
Instead, you are PATIENT WITH ME.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so GREAT IS YOUR LOVE FOR ME.
You are FAITHFUL TO FORGIVE – when I confess – and to cleanse my heart of its unrighteousness.
As far as the east is from the west, you have removed my transgressions from me.
YOU REMEMBER THEM NO MORE.
From your abundance, Lord, I have received your GRACE UPON GRACE.
Of this my heart will forever sing!
*This expression of praise for God’s love, forgiveness and grace is a compilation and personalization of the following Scriptures: Romans 7:15; Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 59:2; Isaiah 1:11-15; Job 11:5; Isaiah 6:5; Isaiah 1:18; Psalm 51:1; Psalm 103:8; Psalm 103:10; 2 Peter 3:9; Psalm 103:11; 1 John 1:9; Psalm 103:12; Isaiah 43:25; John 1:16 and Psalm 89:1
A Year of Smiles – Day 296
Reason to SMILE #296: SECOND CHANCES
Time and time again,
I know that I will falter.
I know my steps will be misled.
This fate I cannot alter.
I try to choose the way of good;
It is my heart’s desire.
Yet when my will is put to test,
I find it all haywire.
There are times I have been proud.
I’ve stood my ground in battle.
But more than these, I am afraid,
I see resolve unravel.
Oh, but thanks be to our God!
Great mercy He advances
And ev’ry time we’ve fallen short
He’s given second chances.
… and third and fourth and fifth and …
What a loving and merciful God we serve! No matter how many times we fail, He’s there to pick us up and give us a chance to try again. Each new chance is a reason to SMILE and an opportunity to share that same mercy and grace to the world around us.
Have you been given a second chance? Why not give the same to others?
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Colossians 3:13 (NLT)
A Year of Smiles – Day 239
Reason to SMILE #239: BELIEVING THE BEST IN OTHERS
I wonder how our world would look if we all believed the best in each other.
What if we looked past the rough edges and saw the potential waiting to burst forth.
What if we embraced the awkwardness and peculiarities and allowed them to broaden our horizons and enlighten our perceptions.
What if we ignored the drama and discovered an infectious spirit of energy and attraction.
What if we overlooked the gruff and callous demeanor and the offensive words and actions and focused on the hurting soul in need of love.
What if we forgave the faults we see in others, the same faults we long for others to forgive in us, and see each other as imperfect brothers and sisters doing our best in an imperfect world.
What if we stopped discarding people and embraced each other as a masterpiece of the the Great Creator, a child of God worthy to be loved, pursued, forgiven and accepted.
Believing the best in others takes practice, patience and persistence. It opens us up to heartache and disappointment but if we make the effort to see others through the eyes of Jesus, I feel certain that our world would be filled with so many more SMILES.
A Year of Smiles – Day 206
Reason to SMILE #206: A FRIENDLY VOICE
“Hey, Pookie. You got a minute?” said the voice on the phone. It was one of my best friends from college.
Yes. Yes. She called me “Pookie”. She gave me that nickname the moment we met (You can read more about that back on Day 173.) and she still calls me “Pookie” today. I wouldn’t have it any different!
My friend and I had been commenting back and forth on Facebook about my new hairdo (See Day 205). By the way, yesterday’s post about my new haircut has received the most traffic of all my daily smiles thus far. Hmmm… If drastic changes is what it takes to get the views, I don’t know how I’m going to top that. Oooooo, maybe I’ll get a tattoo. Uhmm, Nope! 😉 Anyway, my friend mentioned that she was going to send me a private message but the next thing I knew, my phone was ringing. She decided to give me a call instead. And, boy, am I glad that she did.
It’s been a while since I’ve heard the voice of my dear friend. The fault for that is no one’s but mine. We were once close in our college days. She was a friend that I could have fun with, rely on, talk to, receive advice from – solicited or not! – and be myself with. Oh, and I loved to make her laugh because when she laughed, she held nothing back. Her laugh was, and still is, big, bold and boisterous. (How’d you like that alliteration? Pretty awesome, huh!) No one could replace my friend, Greta. Nothing could change our friendship.
But something did…
You see, near the end of my time at college, I made some choices that I knew were not the best choices for me. The guilt over my behavior caused me to pull away from my friends, the friends who I knew would not approve of my choices, the friends who would look me in the eye and tell me I was wrong, the true friends like Greta. Ultimately, after college, I pulled away completely. I didn’t feel as though I deserved such a wonderful friend or that my friend would look at me as the same Pookie she once knew.
But Greta, my loving friend, wouldn’t let me go. She has never once wavered in our friendship. She has always been a friend who reaches out to me, encourages me and prays for me. Her friendship has taught me a valuable lesson which is this: we must be careful which voices we choose to heed in our lives. In my days of guilt and regret, I chose to listen to the voice of Satan who whispered lies in my ear telling me I was unworthy of my friends and of God’s mercy and forgiveness. If I had only listened to the voice of the Heavenly Father, I would have heard serenades of love and overtures of forgiveness – by far, a much better listening experience!
My SMILE today came from hearing my friend’s voice – a voice that is faithful to lift me up when I am down, redirect me when I am astray and keep me company throughout life’s journey. Do you have a voice like that in your life? Or are the voices in your life whispering lies of your unworthiness or incompetence? Stop listening to those lies. Tune your ear to the voice of the Father who is calling out, “I love you. I made you. You are priceless. I will forgive you. I will restore you. I have a plan for you and, child, my plan is good.”
A Year of Smiles – Day 191
Reason to SMILE #191: MERCY
I messed up. There’s no other way of looking at it. I completely blew it. I’ve worked for weeks to get a project completed. I’ve coordinated with several different parties from all over the United States, fought with overnight couriers, manipulated schedules and pretty much performed everything short of miracles so all could be finalized today. Then I had to go and throw all that hard work away with one bad decision. Ugh! I may have played a huge role in completing this project but I’ve also single handedly thrown a huge kink in it’s culmination.
It has not been a good day. Fortunately, I have an understanding boss who did not even flinch with the news of my screw up. Instead, he helped me to meet enough of the requirements of the project today which will allow me time to fix my blunder in the next day or two. It’s humbling when you expect/deserve a negative reaction or speech filled with disappointment but you actually receive a helping hand and sympathetic gesture of forgiveness.
That’s a lot like God. No matter how many times we mess up, He isn’t waiting to give us a tongue lashing or strike us down with a lightning bolt. Instead, He’s waiting to forgive us with open arms. Yes, there may be consequences for our bad choices. We do have to learn from our mistakes. But God shows us mercy by withholding what we truly deserve, separation from Him because of our sins, and giving us what we do not deserve, grace and forgiveness.
I have no idea how my blunder is going to work out. It may be fine and I will be able to SMILE and thank God for the blessing. Or it may be the opposite and I may find myself cleaning up an ugly mess. Though definitely more difficult, I will still be able to SMILE realizing that I have been given an opportunity to learn from my mistake. (Did I mention how hard it will be to find that SMILE?) No matter the outcome, I am thankful for the reminder of the great mercy God shows to me every day of my life.